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tv   Countdown With Keith Olbermann  MSNBC  January 13, 2010 1:00am-2:00am EST

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has. >> bill clinton has been on the phone with the u.n. he's been very engaged in these conference calls tonight. hillary clinton has spoken to the ambassador who was reached by radio. hillary clinton is in hawaii on her way to guam -- or rather to new guinea, and an asia trip, a south asia trip, new zealand. she's not cutting short her trip at this time. still proceeding. but she's been in touch with the ambassador who is well but trapped in his residence. the residence not damaged as we know, by there's no phone communication. he's been reached by radio. the rest of the embassy personnel have been reached in the embassy, but there has been some housing damage for u.s. housing, and we don't know if there are any injuries among u.s. personnel there. >> in other words, to be clear, the u.s. embassy itself hasn't sustained much damage and no injuries to the diplomats although, as we were hearing, as many as perhaps a thousand americans might be there in terms of humanitarian work. >> reporter: exactly.
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and in fact people visiting and working in haiti don't normally register with the embassy. they don't have a way of knowing exactly what the population is. i've spent a lot of time there over the years in the '90s and covering the election and the military action there during the clinton administration and know also from ray kelly who i covered there, who yas new york city's police chief, he was in charge of the u.n. security efforts to train the local troops. the main problem is there is no rescue, there is no fire department there, there are no ways to go out and secure the area. so they don't have any infrastructure normal city or state services. this is going to be a huge problem at first light. >> andrea mitchell, chief foreign affairs correspondent. thank you so much for your reporting tonight. as always, we appreciate it. that will do it for our live coverage. we'll have updates at the top and bottom of each hour with news updates throughout the night. the latest is that the city of port-au-prince, 2 million people have been essentially brought to
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the ground tonight. the ap reporting the city has been largely been devastated. more than 2 million people live there. we'll have updates throughout the night and live coverage starting on the "today" show. i'm david schuster. good night. which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? palin versus mccain versus lauer in the wake of the claim of haphazard vetting in the book "game change." did anybody in his campaign really know who sarah palin was? did anybody care? >> your comment that just said i wouldn't know is somewhat surprising to me. you were the presidential candidate. >> look, i wouldn't know what the sources are, nor care, i know -- i do know that i'm proud of my campaign, i'm proud of sarah palin. >> and now she becomes the emily litella of ex-governors as she joins the filter of the mainstream media making things up establishment.
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the push to blame obama. new polling. 65% of americans have confidence in his approach to terrorism. that is up from last summer. and number of rudy giuliani corrections of his original statement about attacks under president bush? four. up from last sunday. a quick comment. jay leno to 11:35, "the tonight show" to 12:05. the latest, hell no, conan won't go. >> good evening, everybody. i'm conan o'brien the new host of "last call with carson daly." and the mark mcgwire hits keep on -- going? >> the only reason that i took steroids was for my health purposes. i did not take steroids to get any gain for any strength purposes. >> doesn't that mean if he hadn't taken them, he wouldn't have been able to hit any home runs, not just more home runs? and tonight the revelation. the infamous political figure who unbelievably turns out to be behind the mcgwire contrition tour. all the news and commentary now on "countdown." >> it was the hardest day of my life.
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good evening from new york. choosing a running mate is called the most important decision a presidential candidate will make for a reason. a decision that says as much about the top of the ticket as it does about the person deems capable as being the real top of the ticket. we've long known senator john mccain fatally botched that selection with his then choice of sarah palin. senator mccain claiming this morning that he wouldn't know about whether or not a claim in a new book that she was basically never vetted was a fair assessment. having introduced to national prominence a woman he had barely met and someone his campaign barely vetted as capable of being president, the 2008 republican nominee copping to ignorance if not negligence when asked about it this morning. matt lauer on the "today" show addressing the allegations as spelled out in the new book. >> you heard about this, this new book called "game change." you're kind of front and center in a lot of the chapters that seem to be a little inflammatory.
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let me get you on the record about some of it. one is that your vetting process for governor palin before choosing her as your running mate was wholly inadequate. from page 363, i'm combining two quotes here. in judging palin it barely merited the name. no one had interviewed her husband. no one had spoken to her political enemies. no vetters had descended on alaska. is it a fair assessment? >> i wouldn't know. the fact is that i'm proud of sarah palin. i'm proud of the campaign we waged. she energized our party. she will be a major factor in american politics in the future, and i'm proud of our campaign. look, i've just spent my time, matt, over where three young americans were just killed in afghanistan. >> and i respect that. >> and that was over a year ago. i'm not going to get into it. i'm not going to get into it. >> your comment i wouldn't know is somewhat surprising to me. you were the presidential candidate. >> look, i wouldn't know what the sources are, nor care. i'm not going to spend time
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looking back over what happened over a year ago when we've got two wars to fight, 10% unemployment in my state and things to do. >> the fundamentals of his campaign strategy are strong. fox news meanwhile all but leaking the playbook of how it plans to use senator mccain's former running mate in her new role as a contributor to that network. in an interview to "the los angeles times," the vice president of programming, bill shine, has said he hopes governor palin will be a polarizing voice on the network. she's one of the most polarizing figures in the country. we hope she brings that. if polarizing were to mean palin might not tell the truth on the air the same way she floated the false assertion of death panels on her facebook page, that's also apparently high on the fox news palin wish list. shine telling the paper he was not concerned that palin would make false assertions on the air adding that the expectations that she will utter something controversial will likely drive viewership. quote, in the end, that's probably going to help us in that that's what people will want to watch.
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time now to call in our own richard wolffe, author of "renegade, the making of a president." good evening. >> good evening, keith. >> the senator mccain statement about he wouldn't know, did he -- did he think he was answering a question about he wouldn't know whether or not the reports that the vetting of palin was woefully inadequate in the book are accurate or that he wouldn't know about the actual vetting process? >> well, let's try and put ourselves in john mccain's shoes just for a minute here if we can. here's a guy who was shot down over north vietnam, and he finds himself running with someone who doesn't know what north korea is. this was a guy who was a vietnam war hero, and he had to have his staff explain to his running mate what the second world war was. you can understand why he wouldn't want to revisit all of this or answer the question. the sad truth is that john mccain knew less about sarah palin, vastly less about sarah palin than fox news knew about her before they signed her up to be a contributor. so this is a shambles.
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and luckily, i think, voters recognized it at the time. >> is that luckily because of the sort of frightening prospect of an unqualified vice president on that ticket or more evidently frightening because of the prospect of an unqualified or disinterested president in that ticket? >> well, i think one thing we saw clearly in the polls was that people were concerned that this was a gamble, an unknown candidate coming on to the national stage. she may have been energizing in terms of her own supporters and in terms of the media. and by the way, one thing i haven't seen out of all of this recent media gasping over these revelations is not much looking back and saying why wasn't this stuff discussed at the time, why was sarah palin actually given a free pass in many ways at the time and treated more seriously than the mccain campaign recognized that she deserved to be? so i think the voters there saw the palin pick as a question mark, at the very least, about mccain's judgment. >> at least in this situation,
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we've seen the youtube videos of her brief sports casting career, so clearly she's overqualified to be an analyst at fox news. about that job, there was one mention of ed schultz of msnbc being contacted by the democrats in north dakota about the byron dorgan seat. and maybe from north carolina, too. i don't know where that came from. but the republicans immediately demanded that schultz quit his tv show on this network and stop any other broadcasting because that would be electioneering from a tv position, and that would be against at least fec rules if not fcc rules. given that palin has all this collection of websites and pacs that are positioned basically as a skeletal structure of her 2012 campaign for the presidency or even the vice presidency again, how could the federal election commission let her and fox erase that no candidates on tv line? >> we know the fec is a paper tiger. you can't expect ideological from the critics here.
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we know there's a curious combination of politics and media going on at fox news now that somehow sort of positions roger ales as a silvio berlusconi. you know berlusconi used his tv business to promote political candidates, himself and others. roger ales started with the zoning laws according to "the new york times" in his own neighborhood. palin's presidency is one step behind. >> i was thinking of that fake video of berlusconi and the non-meter maid. telling the los angeles paper he's not concerned if palin were to make, as this euphemism goes, controversial statements because that would probably going to help us. it's as if they're not pretending anymore. >> well, i'm sure some people are watching her right now and they're enjoying it. brit hume last night speaking to none other than bill o'reilly had to be incredibly tactful saying sarah palin maybe would have a chance to polish her articulation of her policies and maybe become more attuned to world affairs and think about things in a broader context.
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i'm paraphrasing but broadly even brit hume has a low opinion of her. so god help the viewers of fox news tonight. >> why just tonight? msnbc analyst richard wolffe. as always, great, thanks, richard. >> thank you, keith. part two of the game-change saga of the day involves a strategy change evidently by the republicans. after the original one went kablooey in their own face. the gop now backing away from its attempt to have majority leader harry reid removed from his democratic leadership position because of the remarks he made about president obama's race and dialect in that same book about the 2008 presidential campaign. as you'll no doubt recall in a conversation with the authors of the book "game change," senator reid having said he believed then senator obama could win with white voters because he was light-skinned and didn't speak with a negro dialect. today senate minority leader mcconnell declining to criticize senator reid for those comments as well as deflecting calls from other republicans demanded that reid step down as majority leader. >> some of your colleagues have
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called on senator reid to resign because of his controversial comments. do you agree? >> i think that's an issue for the democratic conference. >> do you not agree with them? >> i think it's an issue for the democratic conference. who is going to be the democratic leader of the senate is up to the democratic conference. >> see if i can try this from another angle. >> good luck. >> if a republican had made comments similar to what the leader reid had said, would you personally want them to surrender a leadership position if it had been somebody in your caucus? >> look, no matter how many different ways you ask the question, who is going to be the leader of the democratic party in the senate is up to the democrats in the senate. >> one democratic senator, feingold, rarely on the same page with party leadership having questioned yesterday to a tv station yesterday in wisconsin whether reid should continue as leader today sources telling nbc news feingold is back on board supporting senator reid as the leader.
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let's turn to our own howard fineman, senior washington correspondent for "newsweek" magazine. good evening, howard. >> hi, keith. >> yesterday, members of mr. mcconnell's conference, senator cornyn particularly, were calling for senator reid to step down as majority leader and repeatedly given the chance to throw gasoline on that fire today. as we just heard the minority leader instead tamped down the embers, just backed away from the scene. does he think that the democrats will implode on this? or is he actually declaring the attempt to removing senator reid on the part of the gop over? >> well, i think there are a couple of things going on here, keith. first, let me say that feingold's staff called harry reid's office today and said, hey, we're on board, don't worry about it. so all the democrats are behind harry reid right now. i think the republicans' calculations are twofold. number one, harry reid is in trouble politically in nevada. from their point of view, they
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see him as a weakened majority leader. they would just as soon keep him there. i think -- that's what they're saying publicly. but i think the real reason is that the republicans don't want to engage in a long, drawn-out discussion of who's more committed to equality in the society and who has done more politically for the african-american community in the last, oh, say, 40 years or so because that's an argument and discussion that the republicans are really going to look bad in and don't want to continue it. yes, harry reid made a very unfortunate remark and, yes, it's troublesome. but if you attempt to put the republican party next to the democratic party, it's not only african-americans who are going to look at the democratic party with favor on questions of race relations, but everybody else in society pretty much, too. >> something of a glass house thing applying here, too? because i imagine the chances of this sticking were not helped when michael steele of the rnc ended a complaint about something else last week before
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this broke and concluded the remarks by adding the phrase "honest injun." it's dicey territory. isn't it? >> there are loose lips all over the place. the big point is if you want to get into a discussion of racial relations and racial sensitivity, then the republicans are going to lose. they don't want to fight the battles politically here in washington the next few weeks or whenever on that basis, because they're going to lose. they have a terrible record. barack obama got 96% of the african-american vote 2008. i was at the republican convention in st. paul. there were precious few african-americans there, certainly not very visible. it's not a big part of the republican agenda. and fair-minded people are going to look at it and say if you really want to have this discussion, then the republicans are going to lose whatever harry reid might have said to the guys who wrote that book. >> and it wasn't going to go very far as long as mr. reid had the backing of the white house, and particularly the apology accepted statement from the man the original statement was made of. >> yeah, i think that's right. i think barack obama came out immediately and did that. i think rahm emanuel did
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yesterday on msnbc. the senators are in line. look, harry reid is in a tough spot anyway trying to lead the fractious majority, trying to get health care, trying to guard his flank back in nevada for re-election. i mean, he's a wounded political animal, there's no doubt about that. but i don't think the democrats see any need or percentage in trying to remove him at this point. i think they'd just as soon let him try to do what he can do in the next few weeks, as difficult as that's going to be. >> far less reverberation in the media echo chamber today, this week, certainly today, didn't happen before today with mr. mccain's remark about that book and how accurate or inaccurate it was on the vetting process for his vice presidential candidate relative to the amount of talk there has been and continues to be about the reid comments about obama. somebody pointed out that at one point politico.com had 14 stories about reid. why is that is not expected to fizzle out and which of these statements is more important
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politically? >> i think looking at the history of it -- i mean, there's no doubt that john mccain's lack of vetting of sarah palin is a far more serious story, because let's just say john mccain had won the election. then you have somebody in there as vice president who is truly, at least based on the evidence that we know of her knowledge and preparation at the time she was nominated, was pretty much incapable of having the minimum base of knowledge to handle the job. i think richard wolffe made an excellent point. i think the media was a little star struck. and i admit to being one of them. because i looked at her political saleability as an exciting figure early on. but the mccain campaign didn't look. the media didn't look. but the voters did. and that's one of the reasons why john mccain lost. >> i looked. >> and you looked. >> i looked. howard fineman of "newsweek" and msnbc who himself is sparkling tonight. great thanks, howard. the fundamental premise of
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the gop, of course, has in the last 357 days have become whatever it is if you can distort it to look vaguely remotely like barack obama's fault, do it quickly, do it loudly. that's it. harry reid, the republican planned bailouts and the latest terrorism, but new polling indicates that america's approval of his handle of terrorism has increased. maybe that's because rudy giuliani has issued a fourth different version of his calculation on how many attacks there have been under presidents obama and bush, and as the first of tonight's quick comments indicates, he'll have to issue a fifth. if you choose a sauce based only on the label, you might be missing something. with prego, it's all about the sauce. in a blind taste test, more people preferred prego over bertolli. the sweet and savory taste of prego. it's in there.
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now the first of tonight's quick comments. rudy giuliani desperate to relive his glory days has broken the international record for the most corrections of the same false statement. first he said there had been no domestic terror attacks under mr. bush but one under mr. obama. then he said no domestic terror attacks since 9/11 under mr. bush and one under mr. obama and said the anthrax attacks were never declared terrorism when they were by attorney general ashcroft.
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then he said he meant no domestic terrorist attacks by muslim extremists since 9/11 under president bush but one under president obama. then he was reminded of the muslim that shot up the el al ticket counter in 2002 and d.c. sniper and 2006. we have not heard mr. giuliani's fifth version of really what he meant to say, but i suspect it will end up being something like the. no domestic attacks by muslim extremists since 9/11 under mr. bush but one under obama that he could exploit. 
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after a republican presidential campaign shouting that barack obama could not protect us, a year of shouting that president obama endangers us all, and almost two weeks of crybaby whining that an untrained loser who could not blow up his own junk proves how unsafe we are. the people have rendered their verdict on commander in chief obama. the polls in a moment. first the latest salvo. senate leader mcconnell back
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from afghanistan claiming u.s. troops there are confused about what to do with enemy combatants and that a u.s. general questioned about detainee policy, quote, didn't want the answer the question without turning to his lawyer. part of the same mentality that led the obama administration to charge umar farouk abdulmutallab in criminal court rather than in a military proceeding. how much worse are things in afghanistan with this dangerous confusion? what mcconnell calls a preoccupation with detainee rights? the number of afghans who consider attacks against u.s. troops justified has dropped by two-thirds in one year. 8% now calling such attacks justified. that is a new low down from 25% a year ago. a senior defense official tells nbc news tonight -- the tactical approach to handling detainees is clear. troops know what they're supposed to do. despite attempts by mcconnell and both cheneys including liz's fear mongering web ad, domestic polls show americans refuse to be terrorized by them. nice "24"-like graphics, 65%
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saying they have confidence to protect the u.s. from terrorism up from 59% in 2006. 57% giving mr. obama thumbs up on his specific handling of the christmas day nonbombing. we're joined now by steve clemons, director of the american strategy program at new america foundation and author of the blog, the washington notes. the cheneys obviously want to push back at any criticism of him, the former vice president. republicans are trying to whip up their base. but with most independents in that poll approving the obama response to the underpants nonbomber, what is the gop game plan here? >> well, i think the gop game plan is sort of on automatic pilot. i think my colleague steve call in "the new yorker" magazine said it best. he said dick cheney and some of the fearmongers are like the penultimate scene in a slasher movie, totally predickable, trying to push the buttons, make americans feel scared.
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and what the president has done is outflanked them with a very sober, careful, self-critical position showing while there are problems we're going to fix them without hyperventilating about every small problem and every threat that might come to this country. so i think obama is building -- rebuilding trust with american citizens and not making them run under the covers and reaching for their duct tape every time something happens. >> why do you think republicans don't seem to be expressing any confidence in the u.s. troops who are fighting in afghanistan and insulting them as confused, not sure about their orders? do they think the generals are dumb? >> i mean, i think it's a very dangerous move for them to do this, because you've got some degree, dick cheney and the republicans have been trying to sort of be the national security state. pentagon-huggers. and to some degree barack obama has been developing a relationship with key generals and players and showing he's listening them trying to equip them with the military resources
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they need, armed humvees. you may recall back during the bush administration the very severe criticism that the bush administration got for not helping to equip the soldiers with what they needed. i think obama has turned that around. i think that the way the gop is doing this, it could really turn around for them and backfire when you're out sort of sliming people who are out on the front line and risking their lives. >> is there a second possible backfire in there? as americans, more of them begin to realize that dividing us and whipping up fear happens to coincide with what al qaeda wants? >> well, i mean, another really great line in this "new yorker" piece called "threats" was that to some degree dick cheney like al qaeda are committing acts that result in their self-isolation. and i think that that is a very interesting comment that i think both in afghanistan and the numbers you just showed, but also among american citizens. i think people are realizing that the values in institutions, the norms that we have here, are strengthening. they're a sign of strength. and to give them up into some
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sort of kafkaesque purgatory with no law an the kinds of things we saw in gitmo, the oscar-winning documentary "taxy to the dark side," that show how victims of torture and the absence of law doesn't help this country at all. i think barack obama has replaced at least the vision of the rule of law in place of torture chamber, and it's very frustrating to the cheney crowd. >> apropos to that, a u.s. general suddenly wants to know what the law says before answering a policy question and fewer afghans than before want to kill us. what part of this is the average american supposed to find objectionable? >> i think the average american should be thrilled that u.s. generals are worried about the law and that we are trying to replace these detainee facilities with something that more resembles what we have here, respect for human rights, respect for international law and american laws and life in general. this is very, very important for
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the afghan citizens that we're trying to protect. even in stanley mcchrystal's report, which i was not thrilled with his prescriptions, he nonetheless said we need to be seen as people helping to protect and build and save afghan civil society, not to ruin it into some sort of pugnacious anti-obama militarism. >> the kind of at home with the dick cheneys translated into a middle eastern government. steve clemons, author of the washington note. as always, great thanks. >> thanks, keith. conan o'brien only took steroids to regain health and mark mcgwire will not accept relegation to a lesser time slot. and it's possible i conflated these stories. new mousse temptations by jell-o. ♪
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three decadent flavors. 60 calories. it's me o'clock. time for jell-o.
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i'm lynn berry with breaking news. we want to bring you the latest on the devastating earthquake that hit the island of haiti tuesday evening. the powerful magnitude 7.0 quake tore through the southwest part of the island. the epicenter just a few miles from the capital at port-au-prince. it was then followed by at least four strong after shocks. video from the island shows dozens of collapsed buildings. the associated press now describing the capital city with a population of around 2 million, as largely destroyed, saying casualties appear to be severe and widespread. there are reports that hotels and office buildings and at least one hospital in the downtown area have all
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collapsed. the presidential palace has also collapsed, but nbc news is confirming that the haitian president and his wife managed to see scape unharmed. u.s. officials say a massive mobilization is already under way. u.s. military and aid agencies preparing to render whatever service they can. be sure to stay tuned for much more on this developing story. for now back to "countdown." the detroit auto show tea party and why even fox noise isn't saying anything about it. coming up first on this date in 1729 was born a british politician and philosopher edmond burke credited with the ringing inspirational words, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. which like abraham lincoln's line about fooling all of the people all of the time does not appear in any of burke's written works or speeches. on the other hand, it has been conclusively proved that on october 17th, 1767 burke told parliament "let's play oddball."
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we begin in israel where 50 chefs have been recruited to dip into a world record, the world's largest dish of hummus. the wins repice -- let's try it in english for a change. winning recipe weighed nearly 9,000 pounds and involved a ton and a half of sesame paste and hundreds of freshly squeezed lemons and it was served in a 20-foot-wide satellite dish. i got cnn in my hummus. the israeli hummus beat the previous world record set just a few months ago in lebanon. the israelis hope that this would be a healthy rivalry. all they're saying is give chickpeas a chance. tokyo, japan. konichi-wa. these folks are taking a plunge to begin anew. it's a soul purification ritual where dozens seek enlightenment splashing ice cold water on themselves. it leads to sound mind and body. they believe it allows them to take stock while freezing their assets off.
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finally for this year's consumer electronics show in vegas, one of the notable gadgets here, the sony xp-1. the company is so confident this cell phone is unbreakable, its website shows people putting their phone in cement mixers. here's a bbc reporter testing out the unbreakable pledge with the reporter next to him. you can see where this is going. first the reporter dunks the phone under water, then smashes the phone on the side of the fish tank. come on, smashy, smashy. and on the third try, the phone breaks. you were this close to selling a dozen of them to naomi campbell. deconstructing the mark mcgwire interview and turned a seeming confession into a big lie. the bizarre revelation that a political spinmeister was behind the interview coming up. where are you?! arghhh... (announcer) dr. scholl's massaging gel insoles give you outrageous comfort, all-day-guaranteed. woah. it's not too far... (announcer) are you gellin'? dr. scholl's. when it comes to italian sauce, some people prefer this jar.
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but more people prefer this sauce. winner of the blind taste test. the sweet and savory taste of prego. it's in there.
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conan o'brien today said no to what is in tv land anyway the most high stakes game of musical chairs in a very long time. he says he will not be doing his "tonight show" starting at 12:05 a.m. and he's bluntly observed that his 7-month-old show has not been given, in his opinion, the chance to succeed. but he's not definitively not closed the door on nbc. in a lengthy statement including a closing joke he said last thursday nbc executives said they intend to move it to 12:05 to accommodate the jay leno show at 11:35.
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explaining that, quote, my bosses are demanding a decision, o'brien said that, quote, it was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, i would have the benefit of some time and ratings support from the prime dime schedule. building a lasting audience at 11:30 is not possible but sadly we were not given that chance. nbc has decided to react to their difficulties in prime time by delaying the tonight show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what i consider the great ets franchise in the history of broadcasting. i cannot participate in what i honestly believe is its destruction. my hope is that i hope we can resolve this quickly so we can do a show that we're proud of for a company that values our work. nbc has declined comment on o'brien's statement. tmz reports leno will now be offered "the tonight show." let's bring in the business editor for "tv guide," steve battaglio. good evening, sir. >> good evening, keith. >> okay. what happens next?
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>> it's in the hands of the lawyers. nbc thinks they're within their right to have conan's "tonight show" start at 12:05. conan believes that his contracts stipulated that he was the host of a show that would start at 11:35 or 11:30 as it has for the last 55 years. it's a matter of whether they owe him money or not. >> i have to be ecumenical for obvious reasons but once you refer in a statement to nbc and their terrible primetime problems, is that not check, please, time for conan o'brien? is there no way for him to be permanently attached to nbc after a comment like that? >> if nbc says, well, you know, we've thought this over and we'll give you 11:35 and say good-bye to jay, yeah, i think he'd stay. but i think clearly nbc has made their decision. they have been trying to put this off for years. that's why they made the deal in 2004. conan could have gone to fox then. they said, sign on for another
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five years. we'll give you "the tonight show." and what they did was essentially prevent conan from going to another network and competing with "the tonight show." they were faced with the same situation again. jay could have gone to abc. would have gone to abc. would have hurt conan and "the tonight show." they've tried to hold on to these two guys who they have nurtured for as long as they can. it seems like it's just not going to happen. one of them's going to go and it's going to be conan. >> not to tell any tales out of school -- and i do realize most of the pointed sticks in use are in the buildings that you're in and other ones close to it rather than the one i'm in. but i visited with a top nbc executive this afternoon in his office, literally nothing to do with this. 52nd floor, not a big deal. but nobody was running around, there was nobody with hair on fire, nobody showing anxiety. i saw a lot of people there. nobody was talking about it. and i have seen most of these people panic before. there's no panic in these buildings here. do you know why not? >> there's nothing to panic about.
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they've made their decision. i think when they knew, when they came up with this proposal of trying to keep the three of them, of moving "tonight" to 12:05 and "late night" to 1:05, move jay out of primetime into late night, i think they know that conan might not like it and might not do it. and if that was going to be the case, then jay is going to go back to "the tonight show." so they've obviously -- they're ready to live with that decision. >> one notable side effect of this, the open discussion of it by david letterman, he's doing it again tonight. this is a joke they released in advance about replacement shows on nbc at 10:00. listen to this. >> look what they've come up with so far. i think you're going to like this one. >> in the television industry, there are two types of talk show hosts. jay leno and those who have been victimized by jay leno. these are their stories. >> what is the landscape here if it is letterman versus leno versus conan o'brien on fox or even on abc?
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>> i would guess that conan will go to fox. fox executives said yesterday that they would very much like to have him and make another play in late night. and conan would attract the 18 to 34 audience, which he did do very well with on "the tonight show." and i think the older viewers would be split between jay and david letterman. and i think, therefore, he would just have another slice taken out of the late night pie which has really gotten smaller for everyone. >> steven battaglio, of "tv guide," many thanks. >> my pleasure, keith. then last night's big tv event, mark mcgwire's interview and literally unbelievable reason he gave for taking steroids. an old friend scores highly in tonight's worst persons derby. when rachel joins you at the top of the hour, david boies and ted olson joining forces now in federal court to argue the case for same-sex marriage. ♪ spread a little love today
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the second of tonight's quick comments. and there was a big tea bag party event yesterday, another mass protest against the man. only you didn't see this one hyped in the conservative media. the big tea party at the detroit auto show against the obama administration's fascist, socialist, communist, anarchist takeover of the auto industry. in the first 45 minutes it drew two people. two. one guy named charlie and another one named jeffrey. even a republican politician who was there to try to exploit the tea bag kids ran away in horror at the lack of the crowd. jeffrey explained that the low turnout was part of what, quote, makes the tea party movement so beautiful, because we're not an organized group. you betcha. medication to lower your
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bad cholesterol but your good cholesterol and triglycerides are still out of line? then you may not be seeing the whole picture. ask your doctor about trilipix. statin to lower bad cholesterol, along with diet, adding trilipix can lower fatty triglycerides and raise good cholesterol to help improve all three cholesterol numbers. trilipix has not been shown to prevent heart attacks or stroke more than a statin alone. trilipix is not for everyone, including people with liver, gallbladder, or severe kidney disease, or nursing women. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take and if you are pregnant or may become pregnant. blood tests are needed before and during treatment to check for liver problems. contact your doctor if you develop unexplained muscle pain or weakness, as this can be a sign of a rare but serious side effect. this risk may be increased when trilipix is used with a statin. if you cannot afford your medication, call
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1-866-4-trilipix for more information. trilipix. there's more to cholesterol. get the picture. mark mcgwire's crisis management adviser is who? well, that explains that crap about only taking steroids to protect his health and how he could have hit all those home runs anyway. that's next. first worst persons in the world. the bronze. the hate radio host bill cunningham and pilot of a new tv show with jerry springer. he observed there are no more dirt poor americans in this country and adds -- then springer says -- right, he's not a hate radio host.
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he's a moron radio host. and for the last year that complete statistics were available 2006, 2,377 people died in this country due to malnutrition, the lack of nutrition or even the lack of food. the runner-up is tucker carlson who opened up a new website. not really his. he's not paying for it. funded by the "washington post" to the tune of $3 million by foster friess who turns out to be a climate change denier. a columnist not tucker but matt labash whose first piece compared traffic cameras to rape and had a joke about rachel that sounds like it came right out of the year 1957. climate change denial, rape jokes, gay bashing. anything else you'd like to slap your name on for money, tuck? gonorrhea is still available. our winner, congressman gresham barrett from south carolina, running for governor from that state, introducing for the second time since 2003 a bill he calls s.t.e.p., stop terrorists entry program act.
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that would mean a lot if the ft. hood shooter, major malik hasan or the alleged christmas day bomber, umar farouk abdulmutallab had come from a country designated state sponsor of terrorism. the latter was from nigeria and had a u.s. visa. the former major hasan was born in arlington, virginia and he went to high school in roanoke. i guess, congressman, you need to expand your s.t.e.p. program to stop aliens from infiltrating your homeland from nests of terror such as virginia. congressman gresham "i'm not too bright, am i" barrett, "today's worst person in the world."
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just when you thought the last illusion had already been punctured about baseball slugger mark mcgwire comes today's revelation. the 1988 scene at home plate when he hit his record breaking 62nd home run, when his rival for that mark, sammy sosa from the cubs raced in from the outfield to congratulate him and hug him at first plate. mcgwire, quote, didn't like sosa very much and wasn't craze be the fact that sammy was there. so says steve trachsel his teammate at the time who happened to have just thrown the pitch mcgwire hit for that homer. et tu, sammy. it continues with the colleague from my friend and colleague bill costas. the bat crap crazy contention that, yes, he took steroids from the off-season of 93 and '94 but did not do so to hit more home runs. as we deconstruct the interview we find that mcgwire says that
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he did the drugs only to overcome a series of injuries that plagued him beginning in the 1983 season and he would have hit the home runs anyway. >> didn't you say to yourself at some point mid to late '90s, on top of all this, whatever i can do really well, i can do better because of steroids? >> no, never crossed my mind. >> did not? >> no. because i just believed in my ability and my hand/eye coordination and i believed in the strength of my mind. my mind was so strong. i developed that on my own. no pill or no injection is going to do that. >> do you think that you would have hit nearly 600 home runs that you would have hit 70 homers one year and 65 another year and topped 54 times had had never touched anything stronger than a protein shake? >> i truly believe so. >> what you're sitting here telling me is you could have done essentially what you did without ever touching performance-enhancing drugs. that's your belief.
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>> that's why it's the most regrettable thing i've ever done in my life. >> could you have done those things, could you have hit 70 home runs, could you have had a home run ratio greater than babe ruth did in his time without steroids? >> absolutely. i truly believe so. i was given this gift by the man upstairs. >> what gift was that, mark? the syringes? the problem with this explanation is that even if it is somehow correct, even if mcgwire's home run frequency and distance would have happened anyway, he is claiming he used the steroids for rehabilitation purposes. in fact, that might be worse. listen. >> as far as using it in a consistent basis as the winter of the '93 and '94. i did it for health purposes. if you look at my career, injured '93, '94, '95, '96. i was a walking m.a.s.h. unit.
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the only reason i took steroids was for my health purposes. i did not take steroids to get any gain for strength purposes. >> did you feel as if you were cheating? did you feel as if you were doing something dishonorable? >> as i look back now, as far as my health and my injuries, try to help my injuries to make me feel normal, i can see how people can say that. but as far as the god-given talent and the hand/eye coordination, the ability, the genetics i was given, i don't see it. >> let's recap. the home runs all him. but getting back on the field from injuries, that was why he took the steroids. and that's why that's worse. you cannot hit home runs from the doctor's office. if the steroids enabled him to get to play again in the first place, they didn't increase his home run totals from, say, 40 to 70 in a season. they increased his totals from 0 to 70. and the steroids he started taking to get better physically and not to enable him to work out "x" times as frequently to hit "y" times as many home runs, the ones he started taking offseason '93 to '94, they
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didn't keep him healthy in '94 or '1995. >> you look at when i started taking it in the winter of '93 and '94, i broke down in '94 three-quarters of the year, maybe the whole year. and you go into '95, i broke down again. i don't know. could have been, yeah. but you know, for some reason, i kept doing it. i mentally thought that maybe keep doing this and maybe i'll feel better and better and get out of this rut of being a m.a.s.h. unit. >> so the drugs he only took so he could be injured less led him to be injured more, yet he kept taking them anyway for more than two years. why? so he wouldn't waste his abilities that the steroids wouldn't augment in the slightest. plus, there were those bullies in the club house. >> it doesn't feel good when you have teammates and people walking by saying, he's injured again?
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you know. you know, i knew i was talented. i knew the man upstairs gave me the ability to hit this baseball, gave me the hand/eye coordination, gave me -- my parents gave me the great genetics. but i was running into these roadblocks. and by something i very muchly regret. >> so an athlete depending on his body for his multimillion dollar income takes improper and unregulated drugs. he doesn't remember what they were, but he remembers he preferred the oral ones opposed to the injectables. there's still a problem. the idea long term steroid use was okay as long as it's to preserve god-given talent, baseball, sports, life. filled with those whose careers faded because of physical weakness or injury. tony oliva won batting championships in each of his first two years. his knees couldn't handle the strain of the game. he's not even in the hall of fame. harry krause began the rookie

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